When Did Boomers Lose Their Cool?

By: Richard Berger

When Disney starts bailing on the Boomers, is it the end of the ride for the generation that used to set the trend for just about everything?

Ditching “The Twilight Zone” for a new “Guardians of the Galaxy” theme on its popular Tower of Terror ride, Disney might not be the first to throw Boomers aside in pursuit of younger, hipper Millennials. But with 79 million Millennials quickly taking spots vacated by Boomers in the working world, companies are definitely shifting their focus to “Generation Next”.

Some would argue many companies are premature in forgetting Boomers, particularly since they have greater means and spend more than their younger counterparts. And while Millennials may be the digital generation, Boomers are surprisingly tech-savvy and continue to outspend the Echo Boomers on technology.

In the UK alone, one study showed businesses lose up to £27 billion each year when they overlook Boomers and target Millennials.

In fact, according to the U. S. Census Bureau, Millennial adults earn less than young adults did in 1980, and nearly 70 percent of disposable income will come from the Boomers in the next five years. And most of it will be spent on hobbies and entertainment, which may be just one of the reasons for the financial success of the older sibling of the Coachella music festival, Desert Trip (better known as “Oldchella”).

But what about Gen X, long maligned as disillusioned slackers lost in the days of Fast Times at Ridgemont High? Sure, they make up the smallest group of the three (with only 65 million versus 77 million Boomers and 83 million Millennials). But isn’t this the generation poised to next command the executive suite and mired in child-rearing and college savings?

Whatever your business or product, it might behoove you to think long and hard about which generation to target, and which ones are too costly to ignore. And don’t forget to keep tabs on Gen Z – you’re already behind MTV.